Manufacturing a traditional Mongolian Yurt | Ger

Manufacturing a traditional Mongolian Yurt | Ger is a slow and methodical process, beginning with selecting and drying the wood. At least a dozen different people will work on building your yurt at various stages of the process within the factory, each with their own specialty and focus points. Many of these craftsmen and women have been practicing the art of Yurt | Ger-making for years, if not decades, and are from families with generations of Yurt | Ger makers. They take great care and pride in every cut, every tie, and every stroke of a paintbrush.

All of the wood parts are made from locally sourced and renewable larch, birch, or pine woods. It is dried completely before a cut is made. Once dried, measured, and cut, the wood is sanded, and additional carving is done as needed. Joints are held together with ties, ropes, glue, and snug, expertly carved interlocking parts. There are a few nails, but no screws other than what’s used with hardware such as door and window handles. 

The last step is painting and lacquering which involves more drying time. Drying can take especially long in winter months. The paint is sourced from Europe to ensure it is of the highest quality and lead-free. The colors are mixed at the factory with an artist’s eye. 

Every wood piece, other than the walls, is painted with a base color and decorative detail unless other choices are made. This detail is done in the Uyanga style, a specific style unique to Bat-Ulzii Soum in Uvurkhangai Province of Central Mongolia. It is a tradition that has been passed down for generations and hundreds of years. Some of the designs are reflective of cultures around the world such as the eternal knot and other geometric patterns.

The walls are narrow pieces of wood that have been intricately woven together to create an expandable, flexible, durable lattice wall. Each joint is tied together with camel sinew which, when fully dried, helps to permanentize the knot and add more strength. After the walls are complete, steam is used to give the walls a slight bow. This helps create more stability within the frame of the yurt under its tremendous weight.

The covers, including the felt, are sewn in the factory. The green and white canvas is 100% cotton, water-resistant and durable. The roof liner is 100% cotton. The inner wall liner and detail on the white canvas is an embossed rayon-like material. 

Our felt is heavily cleaned and processed through what are essentially giant needle felting machines. This creates thick, warm, consistent, and straight rolls of luxurious 100% all-natural felted sheep wool. Please visit our Felt Insulation page for more information about this process.

All proceeds stay in Mongolia to support FIRE’s team leading our public health programs.

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